From Orioles to Eagles, Osseo basketball standouts sign with Eastern Michigan

By Bob San

Osseo High basketball standouts Janay Morton and Phillis Webb have been teammates since fifth grade. They will have another four years to play together because both signed with Eastern Michigan University.

Osseo’s Phillis Webb, front right, and Janay Morton, second right, are joined by family members Phillip Webb, back right; Greg Morton, back center; Tania Morton, back left;and Jaren and Jaden Morton. (Photos by Bob San)

Osseo’s Phillis Webb, front right, and Janay Morton, second right, are joined by family members Phillip Webb, back right; Greg Morton, back center; Tania Morton, back left;and Jaren and Jaden Morton. (Photos by Bob San)

At a recent signing ceremony attended by families and friends at Osseo High, Morton and Webb committed to the Eagles, who play in the Mid-American Conference.

Webb and Morton are teammates in high school and AAU and talked about college all the time, but said they did not make the decision to go to EMU together.

“It just happened that way,” said Morton. “I guess we just love each other, so we stay together. We both love Eastern Michigan.”

Tania Morton snaps a picture of daughter Janay and a friend at the college signing ceremony of Janay and Osseo teammate Phillis Webb.

Tania Morton snaps a picture of daughter Janay and a friend at the college signing ceremony of Janay and Osseo teammate Phillis Webb.

Webb added, “It just happened that way. It’s comfortable knowing that you will be with a person that you have known and played with for so many years.”

Webb and Morton had been considering and visiting colleges for a while, and both found what they were looking for when they visited Eastern Michigan, a school in Ypsilanti, about 20 miles outside of Ann Arbor.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of schools but when I visited there I just like the education, I like that the team is committed and I like the way people handle business,” Webb said.

“As soon as I stepped on the campus and talked to coach Tory Verdi, everything just felt like a home away from home,” Morton said. “Coach Verdi is a wonderful coach. He is experienced and came from winning programs. And I love the campus. It just feels good to be there.”

Morton literally has a home away from home there because she has family in nearby Toledo, Ohio.

With their college choice decided, Morton and Webb can relax, concentrate on schools and helping the Orioles to another successful season.

“It’s really a big relief as soon as I made the decision,” Morton said. “The school I love is Eastern Michigan.”

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